Kevin Durant follows big dunk with throat-slash gesture in Thunder’s win

Kevin Durant will end up getting the upper hand. (John G. Mabanglo / EPA) Kevin Durant will end up getting the upper hand. (John G. Mabanglo / EPA)

If Kevin Durant’s thunderous dunk after Russell Westbrook’s block a Stephen Curry layup didn’t get the message across to the Golden State Warriors, his post-dunk gesture did.

Durant, in an uncharacteristic move, pretended to slash his throat and pray after his throwdown helped the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 116-97 victory in Oakland.

“Kill ’em and pray for ’em after the game,” Durant, who finished with 31 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists, explained later (via the Associated Press). The victory was a big one for the Thunder, who moved a half-game ahead of San Antonio in the battle for the top seed in the Western Conference.

“It’s nothing against the team I’m playing against,” Durant said. “Come out with a mindset and be friends after the game.”

Maybe not, but that gesture is ordinarily rewarded with a technical foul call, although Durant was not whistled. In 2008, Deshawn Stevenson was fined $25,000 for the “menacing gesture.” The NFL has fined players for making it for years.

“When I said killed them, I mean our attitude was straight-focused, laser-focused, ready to play every possession, locked in on every possession at both ends,” Durant, who said he was told to make the gesture, said. “We knew what we were playing for. We know every game is important. So we were locked in from the beginning. That’s what we need to do.” Perhaps, but the NBA may see the gesture differently.

Follow @CindyBoren on Twitter and on Facebook.

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.

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Cindy Boren · April 12, 2013